After a year with the TNIV … I have found it illuminating to do my daily readings in new Bible translations. Often I see familiar passages in fresh light because of new turns of phrase or word choices. Not long after its initial publication, I found the NIV a wonderful new rendering of our beloved Book. But over the years it has come to feel dated on several accounts — something unavoidable when the goal is to translate into language as current as possible. A year ago I turned to the TNIV for my daily readings, and discovered that the dated feel was gone. I have been blessed time and again to discover new light and new life in its pages.
Every living language continually changes, and American English has changed significantly over the past thirty years. One of these changes, but just one, to which the TNIV responds so very helpfully, is our language’s recent movement away from the “generic male” language that English has long utilized to refer to all persons. It is a significant change for those of us committed to reflecting the Gospel’s “neither male nor female … in Christ” in the way we speak. I am deeply grateful to the TNIV translators for making this adjustment, as it renders this translation a real option for public use in our churches — and it reads beautifully in today’s English while keeping careful and close faith with the original languages. To my ear, it truly sings in places where some translations feel rather wooden. I commend it heartily.
Sheldon W. Sorge is associate for theology in the Congregational Ministries Division, PC(USA) in Louisville, Ky.